Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Fountainhead: A Review

Author: Ayn Rand
Rating: 10 on 10

Being the girl who is hardly ever seen without her book, I'm always asked "which one is your favorite?". Until recently I did not have an answer for this, but not anymore. Yes, I have read books of various genres, but I could not put my finger on one specific book which I could relate to. This was until I read The Fountainhead.

I was sitting in a library and saw this book. I had heard the name before but nothing more. So, I picked it up and began reading. I was not through the first ten pages and I knew this is something I had to read. The entire argument of why use the same methods of construction for new material resonated with my thinking of "Question Everything". 

The fountainhead is not just a story, it is a concept; Objectivism. Ayn Rand, through this story, laid  the foundation of Objectivism. It is the philosophy of work above all. This is a story of a man, who is a natural creator and arguably the best architect this world has ever seen, but he is unconventional. He understands that just because it is the tradition doesn't mean it is right. Thereby, he makes structure which fulfill the need but stand out from the crowd. He values his work above everything else. He doesn't care what people think or if he is making money. His creations are sacred to him. On the other hand, is a man who is less constrained. He does what he is told is best for him. He has no particular talent but he can socialize and "sell" himself better. He has an easy life in the beginning but by the end he realizes that he hasn't lived at all. The central woman of the story is Dominique Francon. She is someone who Rand herself in her notes describes as the woman for the complete man where the complete man is Howard Roark. She too values creation above all and they have an interesting relationship. Many people find some aspects of this offensive but I think it is who these people are and that is how they submit to each other.

 This book talks about the path less traveled. And how that path is full of resistance and obstacles. It even gets too lonely. However, nothing worth doing ever is easy. Most characters are people you meet everyday. Some of them you detest and some are outright repulsive. However, some of them are what make this world work. Rand's writing is crisp and the story has a good pace. I think that there may be many Howard Roarks living and struggling in this world because they don't fit in and neither do they want to. in the end, it is them who change the world.